Obama, the “working poor,” and the entitlement mentality
Last week, I brought up Barack Obama’s speech at Loyola University, where he said that he wanted to see government “pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution, because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure that everbody’s got a shot.” I also noted his comments from a few years before, when he talked about making the United States a “democracy” (ie. mob rule) for the “common good.”
If you’ve followed Obama since he came on the national scene in 2004, none of this isn’t really surprising to you. But The Daily Caller has found more from the 1998 speech, comments that really highlight Obama’s commitment to government and belief in the mob mentality:
The full recording reveals that Obama saw welfare recipients and the working poor in Chicago as a “majority coalition” who could be leveraged politically.
“What I think will re-engage people in politics is if we’re doing significant, serious policy work around what I will label the ‘working poor,’” he said, “although my definition of the working poor is not simply folks making minimum wage, but it’s also families of four who are making $30,000 a year.”
“They are struggling. And to the extent that we are doing research figuring out what kinds of government action would successfully make their lives better, we are then putting together a potential majority coalition to move those agendas forward.”
“But one good thing that comes out of it,” he conceded, “is that it essentially desegregates the welfare population,” merging urban blacks with “the working poor, which are the other people.”
“Now you just have one batch of folks. … That is increasingly a majority population,” Obama concluded, and one whose policy needs would grow to encompass, health care, job training, education and a system where government would “provide effective child care.”
As you know, Mitt Romney has taken considerable heat — and much of it is deserved — for his comments about the “47%” of Americans that he says he has no chance with because they are committed to the entitlement mentality. Nevermind the parts he got wrong for a moment, but doesn’t this make Romney’s larger point correct?
Again, what Obama said isn’t surprising. It’s largely what Democrats have been doing since the New Deal, but Obama was more forthright about his divisive class warfare beliefs. He makes it sounder much more politically amenable now, but it’s the same message he’s been spreading for years: “Give them all the things! They’ll vote for us.”
It reminds of the famous quote about the cycle of democracy, most frequently attributed to Alexander Tytler:
A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship. The average age of the world’s greatest civilizations has been 200 years.
Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth, to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency, from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependence, from dependence back again to bondage.
That’s pretty much the United States for the last 80 years. It’s getting worse, but the entitlement mentality, encouraged by the desire for political power in Washington, is taking us down a painful road.